Recently, I wrote about new House Bill 903, the Economic Redemption and Restoration of Constitutional Rights Act. If passed, this law would authorize certain convicted felons to petition for constitutional or civil rights to be restored in the circuit court of the county in which the felon resides or in the county where the felon was convicted. At that time, a class-action lawsuit, Hand v. Scott, was pending against Gov. Rick Scott, the Clemency Board, and six other state officials, including the Secretary of State and the Department of Corrections Head. The lawsuit was filed by the Fair Elections Legal Network “FELN,” on behalf of nine former felons.
According to the FELN, Florida is one of four states that denies the right to vote to all former felons until they petition for rights restoration, and 1.68 million Floridians currently do not have the right to vote due to a felony conviction (the highest state total in the nation). Over 10,000 are waiting for a hearing on their restoration applications. If no new applications were submitted, it would take the Clemency Board almost 51 years to hear the entire backlog of applicants.
As cited from a FELN press release: